The success of a golf course at Hyde Park Country Club, as with most properties in the Cincinnati area, will be defined by how the architect works with, around, and across the sharp hills. Fortunately, in this case that architect was Donald Ross, noted for his routing ability (among other design traits).
His work at Hyde Park largely consisted of utilizing the property’s numerous ravines into a strategic, fair design. The par threes demonstrate the challenge he faced and overcame: Nos. 7 and No. 15 (nicknamed the “Devil’s Own”) put absolute emphasis on accuracy, as any shot away from the putting surface means trouble (a comparison point for the former is Ross’s famous “Volcano” concept. This hole is a tad friendlier than that, however). No. 12 will require more muscle, however, traveling 225 yards across two separate ravines to reach safety.
As with the best Ross designs, one can’t simple play heroic golf across ravines all day; the landforms must be featured otherwise. In some instances, the valley runs alongside lengthy holes, and the fairways offer strategic benefits to those who have the nerve to stay closest to the fall-off point.
Over the past decade, Tim Liddy has worked off of Ross’s old drawings to open corridors and return the master’s elements to the design.